Friday, 13 October 2017

FRIDAY 13th PART 2 (1981)

It's Friday the 13th here in Australia, so what better way to celebrate the occasion by watching a Friday the 13th movie? Friday the 13th (along with Halloween) set the standard for all slasher flicks  to follow ... So how does part 2 stack up? To be honest I can't really remember, it was so long since I've seen this one, but it was great to pull out the box set and relive the follow up that I watched so long ago.

If you haven't seen the original I strongly recommend you do so as it is a classic but not necessary to enjoy this film in my opinion. Either way whatever you decide to do It's pretty easy to follow this film (though this following review could ruin the plot for you if you're one of the few horror fiends on the planet that still haven't seen it.)

Part 2 opens up with a dream sequence recap of the first movie through the mind of the lone surviving teenager, Alice (which makes it easy for newcomers to follow the plot) who is obviously messed up from the whole affair and 5 years after the event is still having nightmares regarding Mrs. Vorhees and the boy in the lake which she's sure she's seen. Meanwhile, camp Crystal Lake has reopened for a new bunch of teenagers to experience the joys of the great outdoors.

Whilst obviously Mrs. Voorhees had been decapitated in the first film it turns out the body of her supposedly drowned son had never been found, or confirmed dead. Somehow he'd been surviving in the woods on his own (no mean feat for a mentally disabled lad... not really what I'd call a plot hole, but the only hard to swallow aspect in an otherwise quite reasonable plot sequence) and wants revenge for the death of his mother and begins to take it out on the camp inhabitants one by one starting with the death of the old crazy dude from the first film

Whilst the first film was an all time classic this is a more than worthy follow up and definitely worth watching as it is really here that the legend of Jason Vorhees really starts to develop. Overall it's not really that much of a thinker, but more of a genuine slasher film which can be enjoyed on your own or with friends but either way its great fun and a cool watch!

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

WITCHES / DUNWICH HORROR (2009)

This is either a remake or an adaptation of the HP Lovecraft tale made into movie "The Dunwich Horror", depneding on how you look at it. I stumbled upon this film by accident at my local flea market and it fell to the bottom of my "movies to watch" pile. Months later i picked up and put it in the player and upon reading the back of the DVD cover realised the connection to Lovecraft, and wished I'd watched it as soon as I bought it, although to be fair my copy was called 'Witches' not the "Dunwich Horror" from which it is based. I make no secret of the fact I love HP Lovecrafts work, and as a young adult have read everything of his I've been able to get my hands on, and I have to say as far as I can remember this seems to follow the story well and do it great justice.

Long time HP Lovecraft slave of the Ancient Ones, Jeff Combs is 20 or so years older than the last time I saw him in the "Re-animator" films but man it was great to see him back in action. The ladies are looking sexy, tasteful and elegant (great to see after all the exploitation horror I've been watching of late) and the connection is made rather well with the Chtulu Mythos and the universe he created. Some rather genuine readings of the incantations from the necronomicom and use of the symbols (sigils) used in the hallowed tome, across the opening credits (and in film) add a real air of authenticity to proceedings.  Everthing felt natural, like the directtor himself was a fan of Lovecraft.

The plot is rather complicated but a quick synopsis is that some young lady gives birth to a child in what I recall from the Lovecraft story to be the mythical New England the town of Dunwich and she of course is destined to open the cosmic  gates through her offspring family tree of freaks most of which are human and one of which is an earthly incarnation of the ancient god "Yog Sagoth". 'The Old Ones' (a race of Ancient Deity from beyond the stars) who will bring about the end of the world. The only way to stop the Old Ones from entering our dimension is to find a complete copy of the fabled book THE NECRONOMICON which contain the incantations to open and close the inter-dimensional gates.

The movie itself is complex and not one to watch dipping in an out or in a situation where one is easily distracted.... for it does require concentration but the results are well worth it. A fantastic tale of occult supernatural horror which stimulates the mind and fires up the imagination like few other story tellers can.

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Sunday, 1 October 2017

LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (2009 REMAKE)

Another episode in the battle of the "remakes vs. original" debate........... and for once I'm going to say the remake takes out the fight for the better film! I didn't mind the 1972 original (directed by Wes Craven) but it lacked the serious impact this this remake has.... In this revisited version of events the violence is much more graphic and personally I feel it properly conveys the violence and sadism of the group of pot smoking "hippies" that abduct and torment the poor girls and leave them for dead.

The action is shot quite well in all its full, glorious, digital technology.......... usually I prefere the old school method but in this film the new technology really served it well.  This film way well win because it didn't exactly take on a champion of the horror genre but hey its good to see the remake come up on top for once. Upon further research I discovered that Wes Cravens studio produced this movie so I guess if he had a hand in the making of the film you know he'd want to do justice to his own film.

Onto the film itself, which follows more or less a similar plot line to the original this time the girls get accosted at a gas station in a rural town rather than a big city movie theatre but they still succumb to the temptations of the "devils lettuce" and smokes some ... wait for it... POT with some boys they really shouldn't be hanging around. This leads them to being tortured, raped and humiliated by their new found male friends and one of the girls eventually making it back to her parents house for refuge, which of course starts a revenge war on the young males by the parents of the surviving teen.

Overall I loved it and a very enjoyable watch worthy of any discerning horror fan

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